Lombok is less developed than Bali is has a bigger volcano better beaches and more varied landscapes and is an island in the West Nusa Tenggara province of Indonesia. Tourism is still low key, and many visitors are independent travellers drawn by the islands intoxicating diving and snorkelling, surf and hiking spots.
Bemos mini buses run on routes all over the island, or you can charter your own. You can get around the whole island and to most of the remote locations if you have your own transport. A motorcycle is the cheapest and most versatile option, though a rental car with good ground clearance. Out rigger boats called prahu are used for short trips to snorkelling areas.
Lombok has lots of good beaches, few of which have been remotely developed. The only beach that has grown into a tourist destination is Senggigi. This quiet and gently sloping cove is the major destination, but is still a lazy and tranquil spot compared to those on Bali.
Shopping is pretty miserable in Lombok The Art Market in the centre of Senggigi is a good place to pick up clothing and nik naks, but prices start at silly levels and are a huge effort to bring down. Bartering is essential.
The island of Lombok is home to a diverse mix of cultures. There are several unique sacred buildings and other important cultural sites throughout Lombok. These include the Pura Meru, which is one of the largest Balinese temples on the island. It was first constructed in the early 18th century to house three courtyards of small Meru shrines, including those for Vishnu, Shiva, and Brahma. Near the Pura Meru is the town of Surandi, which is also home to another sacred Hindu temple. Across from the Pura Meru is the former Balinese royal palace of Taman Mayura, which is similar to the palace in Klungkung in Bali.
In the town of Narmada is the Pura Lingsar, which also dates to the first decades of the 18th century. This temple was built with by the Sasak and Balinese Muslims as a symbol of the unity of the two peoples. Nearby is the Narmada Taman, which is one of the islands most famous temple palace complexes. Built in 1727, this combines the architecture of the Muslim, Hindu and Sasak cultures. The Museum Negeri Nusa Tenggara Barat, or Museum of West Nusa Tenggara, features numerous exhibits of the culture of the island including ancient artefacts and decorative arts.
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